After five years playing at Canes, Winstons, and Blind Melons, the guys in 3against1 decided to move north to try to make it big. In 2006, the four members packed up and moved to Westwood, near UCLA. First they secured a rehearsal studio, then they found an apartment.
“Unless you live in a mecca city like Chicago, New York, L.A., or Nashville, it’s tough to make it in music,” says lead singer Mark Weiss. “You have to bring your music to where the headquarters are. We figured you can’t expect an A&R guy to see you if you stick around San Diego.”
Although the recording industry is in a downturn, Weiss says he got to know about 20 L.A.-based A&R reps when his band played at Sunset Strip—area venues such as the Key Club, the Viper Room, and the Roxy.
“We always had our CDs and business cards with us. Half of us in the band are alcoholics, so we got to know the cocktail waitresses. These waitresses knew these A&R guys because they saw them every day and they hipped us to who they were.”
Weiss says associating with A&R reps paid off in the form of a lot of press and placement of music on video-game soundtracks and in a movie called Cruel World. But, no record deal. So, after two years of hustling the L.A. music scene and seven years as a band, 3against1 will pull the plug. Their final local show was last Friday. Weiss reflects on why his band didn’t get signed:
“The music industry is a pendulum. Rap-rock was in; now it’s Brit rock with screeching guitars.” He maintains that 3against1’s sound was not being scouted and says he has learned that labels are only interested in bands “…that are ready to go on a tour with a polished look and sound. Labels used to give development deals, where they would work with you and let you develop your sound and your image. No more.”
– Ken Leighton